The Cathedral City Police Department started its K-9 unit in 1986. Since the program started 11 German Shepherds have been “employed” by Cathedral City, and now we have our first Belgian Malinois. The Police Department has been authorized two positions for Police K-9 handler.
Officer Brian Barkley has been a police officer for 10 years. He became a K-9 handler in October 2013 with his new K-9 partner, Jag. K-9 Jag is named im memory of Officer Jermaine Anthony Gibson, who was killed in the line of duty as a Cathedral City Police Officer March 19, 2011. Coincidentally, Officer Jermaine Gibson and K-9 Jag have the same birthday of August 3.
K-9 Jag is a Belgian Malinois who was born in the Netherlands on August 3, 2010. K-9 Jag’s training began as a puppy while still living in the Netherlands and hence, his commands are given in Dutch. K-9 Jag is a dual-purpose K-9 who is trained in the detection of narcotics (Heroin, Methamphetamine, Marijuana and Cocaine) and Patrol work (tracking, area search, suspect apprehension, handler protection).
Officer Barkley and K-9 Jag are trained by Vohne Liche Kennels located in Hemet, CA. In October 2014, Officer Barkley and K-9 Jag successfully completed S.K.I.D.D.S. School. S.K.I.D.D.S. is the application of specially trained K-9 teams during SWAT deployments. Officer Barkley has been an operator with Desert Regional SWAT since January 2011.
The purpose of utilizing a police K-9 enables police to locate suspects in a more efficient manner. The K-9 can alert on a concealed suspect much more quickly than a human being, giving both the K-9 and the officer time to react. Along with tracking suspects K-9’s are used for detecting narcotics and explosives. The K-9 can also chase after a running suspect and capture him/her much more quickly than an officer can. The use of K-9s also reduces the amount of injuries received by Officers who might have to physically fight with suspects. Many times a suspect will surrender without a fight just from the presence of a police dog.
K-9 officers take commands from the police officer in different languages such as German, Dutch or Czech. People always wonder who cares for the K-9 and where does it live? The police officer takes the K-9 home and cares for the K-9 at his/her own residence.